The National Book Foundation announced the shortlist for its National Book Award for Young People’s Literature. The finalists are Ali Benjamin’s The Thing About Jellyfish, Laura Ruby’s Bone Gap, Steven Sheinkin’s Most Dangerous: Daniel Ellsberg and the Secret History of the Vietnam War, Neal Shusterman’s Challenger Deep, and Noelle Stevenson’s Nimona.
In Ruby’s Bone Gap, Roza goes missing, but the people of Bone Gap weren’t surprised – it’s the nature of the town. It wasn’t the first time that someone had slipped away and left Finn and Sean O’Sullivan on their own. But Finn knows that’s not what happened with Roza.
Stevenson’s Nimona follows a shapeshifting teen girl named Nimona in a medieval-meets-modern world, where knights use cellphones, swords and hoverboards. She teams up with the evil Lord Ballister Blackheart to take down a group called the Corporation.
In Shusterman’s Challenger Deep, Caden Bosch is on a ship that’s headed for the southern part of the Marianas Trench. Bosch is dedicated the ship’s artist in residence and pretends to join the track team, and must decide which is more important.
Sheinkin’s Most Dangerous is a nonfiction book about Daniel Ellsberg exposing government secrets about the Vietnam War. Benjamin’s The Thing About Jellyfish, in which a girl is certain a jellyfish sting is the cause of her best friend’s death, is a middle grade novel.
Winners will be announced at a ceremony in New York City on November 18.